The old meets the new in this sunny Catalan metropolis, where narrow alleyways contrast with grand boulevards, trendy cuisine meets homemade tapas, and everywhere you’re greeted by the warm, welcoming smiles of the fashionable locals. Don’t miss UNESCO sites like the mind-boggling architecture of Antoni Gaudí or La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, with its eight decorative spires soaring hundreds of feet into the sky.
9:00 AM TO 7:00 PM
Palma de Mallorca
day 2 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca is steep, green, and fringed with enticing coves and more than 200 lush beaches. But all that natural beauty is just the beginning. Hear whispers of Chopin in Valldemossa’s monastery where he and George Sand once spent time. Watch the street performers on the piazza around the church, or cross the island to beautiful Sóller.
8:00 AM TO 8:00 PM
day 4 Almeria (Granada),Spain
Enjoy a walking tour of this ancient city. If you prefer, opt for a beautiful drive through the Andalusian countryside to Granada and the magnificent UNESCO site, the Alhambra Palace. Built in the 14th century, this breathtaking example of Moorish architecture combines intricate mosaics and stone-cast latticework in a tapestry of grace and sophistication unparalleled in western civilization. Or take an optional excursion into nature at one of three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
Here, on the shores of Costa del Sol, the Andalusian spirit thrives. Be sure to include an optional visit to see the brilliant and comprehensive collection of Picasso’s work at Museo Picasso Málaga, a tribute to this artistic genius in the city of his birth. Or you may choose to opt for a visit to the beautiful village of Mijas, where picturesque Andalusian country life creates some of the world’s best wines.
8:00 AM TO 12:30 PM
day 6 Gibraltar, British Territory
It’s an odd bit of Britain here at the toe of Spain, with Barbary apes and miles of tunnels as well as traditional red phone boxes. Legend says Gibraltar was one of the two pillars erected by Hercules to mark the edge of the world. Take the cable car to the top to see if you can see it from here. No, that’s not it. That’s just Africa. What a view.
2:00 AM TO 2:30 PM
Today we cruise up the Guadalquivir River into the heart of Seville. (Most large cruise ships dock in Cádiz more than an hour away.) The Renaissance struck early here, during the Dark Ages that cloaked the rest of Europe. The Old Town alone contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the incomparable Alcázar Palace, just waiting for your own oohs and ahhs to echo through the Moorish arches and Italian courtyards. Or head out to the Donana National Park, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
9:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Follow the savory aroma of sardines grilling to the colorful quay, or let your lust for leather lead you to the old town’s shops and 18th century buildings. In ancient Silves, once a Moorish capital, the castle and cathedral are right next to each other in town. How thoughtful of them to make sightseeing so easy.
The rhythm of Lisbon invites you to join its captivating dance. This splendid capital city on the banks of the Rio Teja offers a warm welcome and an unparalleled blend of architectural styles. Elegant outdoor cafés line the cobbled sidewalks. Turn-of-the-century funiculars climb the scenic hills. And, everywhere, the city engages you with its easy style and remarkable charm.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Government fees & taxes are additional.